From busy Bear Lake
parking area, take the well worn Bear Lake Trail
north, going counterclockwise around the lake. Very soon, at less than 1/4 of the way around the lake, take the Bear Lake Connector
trail which branches off of Bear Lake Trail
heading right (north). After running through a mixed aspen and fir forest, arrive at a 3-way junction. Turn right (northeast) here to begin the actual Bear Lake
- Mill Creek Trail.
This trail descends the wide Mill Creek valley, initially at some distance from the creek itself. By the end of the trail, you'll be traveling directly beside the creek. The grades on this trail are gentle and you'll have shade most of the way. After passing two connector trails that lead to Bierstadt Lake, the downhill steepens until the trail's terminus at the idyllic Mill Creek Basin and its backcountry campsites.